Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Australian Government Assistance Extended for NSW Storms and Floods

Ministers:

The Hon David Littleproud MP
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management
The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business
  • Australian Government support payments activated for 18 additional local government areas across NSW.
  • Quickest and easiest way to claim is to call 180 22 66.
  • Phone line is open now, eligible recipients can claim today.
  • Check eligibility at servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster.
  • Services Australia Mobile Service Centre and Mobile Service Teams mobilised to provide assistance when safe.

The Australian Government has activated the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to support an additional 18 local government areas affected by the storms and flooding across New South Wales.

Support through the AGDRP and DRA is now available to the local government areas of Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Liverpool, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Sutherland, The Hills and Wollondilly.

This is in addition to Armidale, Bellingen, Central Coast, Cessnock City, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Dungog, Hawkesbury, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Maitland City, Mid-Coast, Nambucca Valley, Newcastle City, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Penrith, Port Stephens and Tenterfield.

Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said the 18 local government areas announced are in addition to those already activated, taking the total to 34 local government areas.

‘This package will provide much needed assistance to those who had suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home, serious injury or who have lost a family member,’ Minister Littleproud said.

‘The Australian Government will continue to act swiftly to support communities directly affected, particularly those whose homes have been significantly damaged or flooded.

‘The AGDRP provides a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children, who have been seriously injured, lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, or the immediate family members of a person who has lost their life, as a direct result of the storms and floods.

‘The DRA provides a short-term income support payment to assist individuals whose income has been affected as a direct result of the storms and floods.’

People eligible for DRA can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance.

Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the storms and floods.

Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert, said Services Australia had been on standby to assist in disaster affected areas.

‘Services Australia Disaster Assistance phone lines are open now—the fastest and easiest way to claim disaster assistance is over the phone by calling 180 22 66,’ Minister Robert said.

‘Services Australia are also activating additional response measures through its Mobile Service Centres and Mobile Services Teams, and stand ready to provide on the ground assistance when safe to do so.

‘There may be some disruption at Services Australia service centres in affected areas over coming days. We ask that people who use these services to access them via online or over the phone where possible. I urge people to heed local emergency services warnings and do not travel unless safe to do so.’

Services Australia Disaster Assistance phone lines are open from 8am to 8pm local time, seven days a week. For more information on support available, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster

The Australian Government will also lift mutual obligation requirements for job seekers in the Local Government Areas impacted by the NSW floods and storms from Friday 19 March until Tuesday 6 April 2021.

No job seeker in the affected areas will face payment suspension or financial penalties for failing to meet their mutual obligation requirements such as not being able to attend appointments or activities.

More information on Australian Government disaster assistance is available at disasterassist.gov.au